Forrest Kehoe has always loved fishing. On his second birthday he received a fishing game, but his love of fishing was ignited much earlier. A few weeks ago, with the true wisdom of a seven year old, he sat with this reporter and told me about his life experience, thoughts and dreams.
Forrest started by sharing some of his favorite fishin’ holes. His favorite local kid spot is Chipeta Park. He caught and released twelve fish on the day we met. He has fished all over Boulder and Gilpin counties and loves fishing in local lakes and rivers. In January of 2020 he was on a trip and ended up fishing in Wakatipu, New Zealand. His dad bought him a rod, some spinners, hand pliers and a tackle box. He caught a fifteen inch trout.
The love of fishing sent him to a fishing camp with Rocky Mountain Anglers, in the summer of 2020. He learned how to make his own flies there. He liked it “right away,” calling it, “love at first fly.” In camp they tie flies and they fish.
He loved it so much, he and his dad Ken bought their own supplies and Forrest started making his own. He loves to use his imagination to create. He imagines things in 3D and takes it from there. He uses pipe cleaners, cat fur and even feathers in some of his creations. He likes to experiment with different textures and materials. He uses foam to make some of the flies float. And uses wire on others to help them sink.
He has also participated in the Wild Bear fly tying classes in Nederland.
His love of fishing and fly tying has led Forrest into creating his own fly selling business. He ties them and delivers them to the Dusty Rose Boutique in Rollinsville. When Dusty Rose first opened, he was in there talking about creativity and making things. He shared that he ties flies. Brenna and Melissa invited Forrest to sell flies out of their shop. There are Imitators, Wooly Buggers, Zebra flies, Chubby Chernobyl, and Pheasant Tail, Just to name a few. He likes tying with colors. He likes to make them like flies he has seen elsewhere. His favorite part is when it works out and he catches a fish with his flies.
Forrest also shared his knowledge of fish and how they react to the flies. He likes to catch bass, which are fairly aggressive fish. And in Barker he catches trout and salmon. He shared his thoughts about how fish hang out. They hang out in schools, but sometimes hang out alone. Fish prefer shade, you can catch them in the sun, but they prefer shade.
His goal is to spend the summer catching fish with his flies. When asked where he would like to fish next, he responded, “Maybe Costa Rica or Alaska.”
Forrest is entering second grade at Boulder Community School of Integrated Studies. When he is older, he would like to keep fishing, tying flies and doing creative projects.
To find out more about Forrest and his flies, check out the Dusty Rose Boutique at 51 Main Street in Rollinsville.
Sponsored by Gilpin County Commissioners, with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.